Is There a Waiting Period to File for Divorce in California?


August 15, 2022, In Divorce

At WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, our Los Angeles family law attorney knows that when most of our California clients are seeking a divorce, they want results as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand that will end their marriages in seconds, days, or even weeks.

While each California divorce’s timeline will be dictated by the couple’s ability to make swift decisions regarding property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support — or their extended conflict regarding the same subjects — there is a waiting period to get divorced The Golden State.

Here is what our Los Angeles divorce attorneys want you to know about the mandatory six-month waiting period.

When Does California’s Mandatory Six-Month Divorce Waiting Period Start?

In California, there is a mandatory six-month waiting period to get divorced.

That clock does not start ticking when you and your spouse decide to get divorced. Nor does it start on the day one of you moves out or officially separates.

The six-month waiting period for a divorce in California begins after the divorce is filed and proceedings can begin, which is the date the summons or petition is served, or the date of the respondent’s appearance — whichever comes first.

Do I Have to Live in California to File for Divorce?

California law requires at least one spouse to be a California resident for at least six months before filing for a divorce and a resident of the county in which they file for a minimum of three months.

Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in California?

There is no advantage to one spouse filing for divorce faster than the other. Since California is a no-fault divorce state, neither spouse is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. That means there is nothing to gain by being the first to file — except that you can get the mandatory waiting period underway.

How Can I Help Ensure My California Divorce Can Be Finalized As Soon As Possible?

During the six-month waiting period, spouses can work out the details of their divorce by deciding on how their property will be divided, whether one party gets spousal support, who gets custody of the children, when applicable, and how much child support the other parent must pay each month. Each of these details can be worked out privately with your attorneys or during mediation before the six-month waiting period is up.

If you and your spouse cannot decide on these details, your case will be litigated inside the courtroom, which will extend the proceedings until all factors are determined by a judge.

Contact WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have questions about divorce in California, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC by calling 310-552-3505 to schedule a free consultation today.

We can help provide solutions that produce results.

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If you are considering a Divorce in Los Angeles, CA, Contact our experienced Attorney Today and Get a Free Consultation.

Give us a call 310-552-3505